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A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity


World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', conflict, crime, death, ethics, freedoms, government, israel, media, middle-east, politics, palestine, Refugees&Relief, society, violence )

Kit
- 772 days ago - truth-out.org
Any discussion of Israel's political and military actions is likely to evoke emotional reactions among Jews that can split friendships and families.



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Kit B. (276)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 2:32 pm
(Image: Just World Books)

Any discussion of Israel's political and military actions is likely to evoke emotional reactions among Jews that can split friendships and families. It's a core issue that drills down deep into tribal and religious identity, the invocation of the Holocaust, ongoing bloodshed between Arabs and Jews, and a fear of re-emergent anti-Semitism. Rabbi Brant Rosen, a congregational rabbi in Evanston, Illinois and co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, takes on these volatile issues of Jewish faith, values and the traditional homeland narrative of Israel in a new book: "Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity."

Rosen's personal journey raises questions about Israel's current path that go to the heart of the incendiary debate about Israel's future as a Jewish state: whether it can change course and adopt values toward the Palestinians that reflect Jewish religious and cultural tradition, as well as whether a Jewish state can survive as a democracy without becoming a quasi-apartheid government. You can obtain "Wrestling in the Daylight" directly from Just World Books.

If you are Jewish, upon reading "Wrestling in the Daylight," you will feel that you have found a kindred spirit in Rabbi Rosen, or you will become angry. But hopefully, you will begin a dialogue, a conversation in the daylight about the future of Israel, one that Rosen hopes is conducted with respect and civility. (Full disclosure: Mark Karlin is a member of Rabbi Rosen's congregation.)

Mark Karlin: I recall reading your blog, Shalom Rav, during the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) siege of Gaza at the end of 2008. I found your profound condemnation of the massive attack that included countless civilian deaths to be riveting. Operation Cast Lead, as it was called, seemed to be a turning point for you. Why did that particular Israeli military action appear to cause a "coming out," so to speak, the beginning of a breakaway from sacrosanct liberal Zionism?

Brant Rosen: Looking back, I think my strong reaction to Cast Lead was the final straw of a process that I had been experiencing for some time - dating all the way back to Israel's first invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In the past, whenever Israel behaved in ways I felt were morally questionable, my concerns would be tempered by a defensive voice in the back of my head telling me: "Calm down. Don't overreact. It's complicated." I'm pretty sure I'm not the only liberal Zionist who's heard this voice. We're very good at rationalizing or dismissing actions by Israel that we would never dare to condone if it were any other country.

But in the case of Cast Lead, I just didn't hear the voice any more. I had already been openly expressing my opposition to Israel's crushing blockade of Gaza, and when I heard the first news of Israel's initial military onslaught - reports of Apache helicopters dropping literally tons of bombs on 1.5 million people living in a tiny strip of land with nowhere to run - I just couldn't rationalize it anymore. I knew in my heart that Israel's actions had nothing to do with security - this was oppression, pure and simple. This wasn't about Hamas shooting crude missiles into Southern Israel - this was about bringing the Palestinian people to their knees. And I finally came to accept that it had always been this way.

So in a way, you could say that Cast Lead was the end of one process for me and the beginning of another. Once I publicly broke ranks with liberal Zionism on this score, I felt emboldened to share my feelings about a variety of Zionism's sacred cows: I wrote openly about the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Israel's birth and was still continuing, the troubling undercurrents of a system that institutionally privileged one ethnic group over another, the brutal crushing of Palestinian nonviolent resistance. Once I spoke out publicly on Cast Lead, you might say I felt liberated to bring my deepest, darkest concerns out into the light of day.

Mark Karlin: One of your most significant accusations, borne out in many ways by your experience in the West Bank, is that Israel is in the process of becoming an apartheid state - and that this may be the price of remaining a Jewish state. The tragic irony, of course, is that treating Palestinians as a whole as second-class people violates the Jewish tradition and values of embracing diversity and its understanding of the human condition. In essence, is there a risk of Israel only existing as a Jewish state at the price of losing its religious and secular values - its soul, so to speak?

Brant Rosen: It's not just a potential risk; I think we're witnessing the cost of this apartheid process every day. Even so, most Zionists are unable or unwilling to admit that this is what inevitably comes of fusing Judaism and political nationalism. But if you really consider it, how could it be otherwise? At the end of the day, how can you have a Jewish state that does not somehow treat non-Jews as "other"? That does not discriminate between Jews and non-Jews? That does not, on some level, create a system of institutional racism that privileges Jews over non-Jews?

So yes, I have personally come to the very painful realization that Jewish nation-statism comes at a very real cost to our Jewish soul - compromising sacred values that teach us that all human beings are created in the image of God, that one law must be extended to all who live on the land, that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.

Mark Karlin: Stereotyping any group of people is dangerous. In polls during peaceful periods, most Palestinians and Israelis appear to support peace. A lot of what Netanyahu appears to do is stir up the pot so that there will never be a long enough period to negotiate a peace. That's not to excuse those in Hamas and Hezbollah who have their own motives in heating up the conflict now and then, along with other parties who have vested interests in stalling peace. When you talk of your Palestinian solidarity, some critics accuse you of abandoning Jewish solidarity and not sufficiently condemning those Arab extremists who are in the "destroy Israel" industry as much as Netanyahu is in the suppression-of-Palestinian-rights industry. How do you respond?

Brant Rosen: At the end of my book I addressed this issue directly:

As a Jew, I will also say without hesitation that I reject the view that I must choose between standing with Jews or standing with Palestinians. This is a zero-sum outlook that only serves to promote division, enmity and fear.

For me, the bottom line is this: the cornerstone value of my religious tradition commands me to stand in solidarity with all who are oppressed. It would thus be a profound betrayal of my own Jewish heritage if I consciously choose not to stand with the Palestinian people.

In other words, I believe my Jewish liberation to be intrinsically bound up with Palestinian liberation. It's really that simple.

I've come to believe that solidarity should ultimately be driven by values, not tribal allegiances. It should be motivated by the prophetic vision that demands that we stand with the powerless and call out the powerful. Of course, in the case of Israel, this form of solidarity presents a very painful challenge to many Jews. I understand that. But at the very least, shouldn't we be talking about this challenge and what it represents for us?

Does my solidarity mean that I agree with everything that is done by Palestinians in furtherance of their liberation? Of course not. When you stand in solidarity with a people, it is inevitable that you will find yourself standing next to some people whose actions and beliefs you will find odious. That comes with the territory when you choose to take a stand. And I might add that this is the case for liberal Zionists who stand in solidarity with Israel as well.

Mark Karlin: You state in your book that there is a perspective in which one can frame the founding of the State of Israel in its Middle East location as an injustice, but that being said, were it realistically achievable (and that certainly appears like a long shot at the current moment), do you support a two-state solution?

Brant Rosen: Before I answer, I feel compelled to say I firmly believe the two-state solution - at least as currently defined by the powers that be - is not "realistically achievable," if it ever was. Israel has been pursuing a West Bank settlement policy - constructing more and more settlements while evicting and resettling more and more Palestinians - with utter impunity. Anyone witnessing the actual facts on the ground has to know that Israel's actions are making an utter mockery of the notion of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. I think it's clear that what Israel calls a "Palestinian state" bears no resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as an actual state. I think "cantons" or "Bantustans" would be more accurate.

Hypothetically speaking, I would support a two-state solution if it afforded equal civil and human rights under the law for all who live on the land. But this discussion is fairly moot at the moment. Under current circumstances, it seems increasingly likely that it's going to come down to a choice between two one-state solutions - that is, a choice between a Jewish apartheid state or a state of all its citizens. On this score, I would support the latter over the former without hesitation - and I would challenge anyone who purports to cherish liberal values to say they feel otherwise.

Mark Karlin: There is a new book out entitled, "Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying: The Secret WWII Transcripts of German POWs." It uses recently uncovered research to detail how ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers were generally aware of the mass killing of Jews and were either enthusiastic about it, or, at best, indifferent. What is your response to those who argue that there is no safety for the Jews in the world as long as there is not a Jewish state? This is a position that one of your synagogue's members, Boris Furman, made in a discussion you both had on WBEZ (NPR) in Chicago.

Brant Rosen: According to classical Zionist ideology, the maintenance of a Jewish state is the only way to safeguard the well-being of the Jewish people. Since the establishment of Israel, however, we've witnessed the exact opposite happening: the Jewish state is now the only place in the world where Jewish people feel collectively endangered. Given Theodor Herzl's original vision, it's tragic to consider that the Jewish state has become a kind of Jewish ghetto of its own making - an over-militarized garrison state that is literally building higher and higher walls between itself and the outside world.

I don't discount the threats posed by global anti-Semitism for a second - but when you look at the general well-being of Jewish communities in the Diaspora, it's hard to deny that we currently live in one of safest times for Jews in Jewish history. Nevertheless, rather than celebrate these newfound freedoms, we're opting to remain prisoners of our own collective trauma.

While I understand this psychologically, I have to say I'm fairly disgusted by those in Israel or in the American Jewish establishment who regularly invoke the specter of "another Holocaust" at every turn. I believe these kinds of claims are historically inaccurate, politically cynical and frankly, downright dangerous.

Mark Karlin: Can you expand upon your viewpoint toward the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) in relation to Israel? For so many Jews, this is akin to crossing the line into making Israel into a pariah.

Brant Rosen: I realize that boycotts conjure up hot-button memories for Jews, but once we accept that Israel is the overwhelmingly powerful party in the equation, I think we can see the BDS movement for what it is and what it isn't. BDS is not a weapon of the powerful against the powerless, a la the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in 1930s Germany. The Palestinian BDS call is more accurately akin to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the American civil rights movement or the divestment movement against South African apartheid. It is a form of nonviolent direct action directed by an oppressed people who seek popular support for their liberation.

The Palestinian BDS movement was founded in 2005 by a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups motivated by Israel's continued refusal to comply with international law in any number of instances - and the unwillingness of international political powers to hold them to account. In other words, in the absence of political pressure to change this inequitable equation, Palestinian civil society is seeking to leverage people power.

Yes, it is enormously painful for many Jews to see Israel targeted in this way. But if Israel is becoming a pariah, that's due largely to its own actions. Defenders of Israel complain that BDS delegitimizes Israel; I'd say that, up until now, Israel has been doing a very good job of delegitimizing itself. Israel simply cannot consider itself to be "the only democracy in the Middle East" if it insists on implementing policies that put it on the road toward apartheid.

Mark Karlin: Playing devil's advocate, I want to return to the issue of tribalism for a moment. It seems most of us have three basic core affinity groups as humans: family, tribal identity (which is often coincident with religious identity) and nationalism. Other than the United States, which is going through a ferocious political struggle right now over whether we are a white Christian nation or a democracy of many peoples, aren't most nations built upon one tribal (and/or religious) group or another maintaining power? In some Arab states, one faction of Islam dominates the government. So, why shouldn't there be a Jewish state as long as we still have a world built upon the nation-state model?

Brant Rosen: I'm not sure Israel can viably claim to be part of the Western family of nations while using Saudi Arabia as a role model. And frankly, I don't think the majority of Jews throughout would have any interest in supporting a Jewish Saudi Arabia.

I think it's a bit reductionist to say that the world is "built upon a nation-state model." There are many peoples throughout the world who are not organized into formal sovereign states. And in the case of the Jewish people, I'd argue that the secret of our survival over the centuries was precisely because we avoided the route of nation-statism and empire. Mighty nations have come and gone, and we're still here. Why? Because we created a unique kind of model, namely a multicultural, multi-ethnic spiritual peoplehood without borders.

The Zionist idea, however, is a conscious rejection of this Diasporist model. Zionism sought to make the Jewish people "k'chol ha'goyim" - like all the other nations. But now that we've seen what Zionism has wrought, I think it's worth asking whether or not we've made something of a Faustian bargain by embracing political nationalism so thoroughly.

Mark Karlin: Israel is a diverse society. The largest population group is secular Jewish. Can one distinguish between the Netenyahu government and the majority of the Israeli people? To what extent is the current Israeli government the US's Middle East neo-con partner as compared to the population as a whole, which includes Arabs who are Israeli citizens?

Brant Rosen: I think it is always important to distinguish between a nation's government and its people. Having said this, I think it's fair to say that Israel's population has been growing increasingly nationalist and religious over the past two decades or so - and that we'll be seeing this demographic shift increasingly reflected in Israel's policies.

Mark Karlin: What you write in "Wrestling in the Daylight" is heartfelt, the product of much anguished self-inquiry, and courageously provocative. Yet, I feel in reading your book what you are most interested in, at this time, is opening a once-forbidden door to conversation and dialogue about Israel. You are, in your own evolution, giving permission to discuss, debate a heretofore unchallengeable narrative. Is this exchange of views by extending the boundary of discussion what you hope will come out of your book?

Brant Rosen: Yes, absolutely. I am a congregational rabbi and the Jewish community is my home. I certainly hope that my writing and my activism, in some small way, might help to widen the boundary on what is considered acceptable discourse in the Jewish community on this issue. Thus far, I'm actually fairly encouraged. It's to my congregation's credit that they are able to countenance a rabbi like me, even if there are plenty of members who disagree with my views. And based on the discussions on my blog, I've found that it is indeed possible to have an honest and open exchange of views on this subject, which is clearly the most emotional and potentially incendiary issue in our community today.

I'm also old enough to remember when even the mention of a two-state solution was considered heresy in the Jewish community, so I know all too well that what is considered "acceptable discourse" is constantly shifting and evolving. That's why I'm confident there will always be a place for annoying pests like me who are nipping at the margins of the communal conversation.

Mark Karlin: It is perhaps an impossible challenge to summarize your nuanced, thoughtful journey - your exploration of Jewish humanistic and religious tradition expressed in the book - but let's say I were given an assignment to write a one-sentence synopsis of "Wrestling in the Daylight." Let's return to an earlier question and paraphrase it. Would "If the price of maintaining a Jewish state is the loss of the divine spark of humanity within the Jewish soul, it is not a price worth paying" be anywhere near that one sentence?

Brant Rosen: Wow, that's pretty lofty. I'd settle for "A rabbi shares his ideological evolution toward Palestinian solidarity - lively conversation ensues."
************* Many links within this article are for the more discriminating reader, see Visit Site for the links***

By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

This may well be the best article/interview I have read on the modern conflict of Israel -v- Palestine.
 

Angelika R. (144)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:36 pm
Kit, you just said exactly what was laying on my tongue as well! It IS THE BEST.period.
And I think Karlin hit it pretty well with his suggestion for that 1 -phrase summary. GIVE this book to Bibi and force him to read it. BTW, just heard today that he will be calling for snap elections within three months.
 

Angelika R. (144)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:42 pm
If more Jewish clerics and people were only as honest as this Rabbi Rosen there would be no more conflict and war. I refuse to believe that the majority is too blind to see what's been going on, they simply deny out of principle and that typical hidden fear being indoctrinated for too long.
 

JL A. (272)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:49 pm
Wow! Very powerful stuff on several levels...but their summary statements probably says it better than I ever could:
"It is perhaps an impossible challenge to summarize your nuanced, thoughtful journey - your exploration of Jewish humanistic and religious tradition expressed in the book - but let's say I were given an assignment to write a one-sentence synopsis of "Wrestling in the Daylight." Let's return to an earlier question and paraphrase it. Would "If the price of maintaining a Jewish state is the loss of the divine spark of humanity within the Jewish soul, it is not a price worth paying" be anywhere near that one sentence?

"Brant Rosen: Wow, that's pretty lofty. I'd settle for "A rabbi shares his ideological evolution toward Palestinian solidarity - lively conversation ensues."
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 5:56 pm

I'm not able sent green star to either Angelika or J L. This is really just the idea that many have been struggling with. How the resolve the conflict, how to allow a for solution that considers human dignity and self respect for both parties. Rabbi Rosen doesn't give any one an easy out, he doesn't waste time or energy by making excuses.
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the post.
 

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 10:55 pm
Angelika, no matter how many guys like that Roben Jews get, peace between Arabs and Jews won't happen because Arabs protest about the very existence of Israel. Turning lands once under Islamic rule to other rules is unacceptable in Islam.

If Roben considers OK to support Arab nationalist movement after they got 22 states and not support Jewish nationalist movement - it's his choice. Considering that Arab states are fighting ALL Middle East nations trying to get their own states - Jews, Kurds, Druze, Azeris, leave alone persecuted Christians - the moral choice of that Rosen is at best questionable.

Doesn't leave me angry, though. Rosen must be well paid as a member of Arab-funded JVP and Jews likely won't read his opuses.

Arab preacher suggested healing people with Camel's urine. That's much more exciting and has more sense too. I will post the link shortly.


 

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 11:00 pm
That's the article I mentioned above. Rosen book can't compete:
http://www.care2.com/news/member/662374011/3462059
 

Kamila A. (141)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 9:11 am
It is so good to hear the conversation continue, and hopefully come to a peaceful resolution. The ultimate fate of humanity lies in our ability to find a way to peace ourselves or we will destroy this planet. It is much bigger than selfish interests, whatever side you may favor. The apathy, ignorance and taking sides is simply not going to be tolerated as we go into a time when it comes down to choosing the higher good vs. power mongering where might makes right.
It is up to the consciousness levels of the individuals, you and you and you and me, who must stand together for peace and tolerance of one another because we just don't realize all that is going on behind the scenes. Our belief structures to date have caused disasters that are faced by everyone. It is time to awaken to the truth of who we all really are: souls who came to experience the world, and then to make it better for everyone, which in turn makes it better for ourselves. It is about saving our souls, and the way humanity has been conducting its affairs has not worked---that's obvious.
It is time to look deeply into our own hearts, our own families and societies and change things for the sake of our children's children's children by changing ourselves. Because what we do now, individually, makes a big difference. We are all in this together, and labels of religious affiliation, national affiliation, and anything less than seeing all of humanity as intimate family is just not going to be sustainable in the near future. We are one another's brother and sister, all of us. We must find a way to grow up beyond our limited visions, no matter how victimized any of us may feel because we are so much more than what most people are willing to open themselves to understand. Wake up and grow up. The whole world is at stake with every word we utter to one another. Speak peace, be a peacemaker, or be willing to hold the karma that the lesser, negative words you speak come back upon yourself.
It is always left to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Love one another. Its just as simple as that, and no "but he did this...." about it. The warring must end, we need to stop the political garbage and see that all we have is each other. We need this planet and one another, whether your ego agrees or not.


 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 10:11 am

And... that Camila is exactly why I think this article is important. We can continue to bicker, like children pointing fingers or we can make the choice to attempt to walk in a path of peace. We tend to forget that as we tie ourselves to political and human issues, we lose the issue at hand. We all universally our brothers/sisters keeper, we can only do so with an open mind and an open heart.

Perhaps, Rabbi Rosen's words spoke to me because I have walked the same road. I have learned some lessons and desire only to see all people, no matter where they live, what religion or culture they hail from to be treated as first human beings with each of us recognizing human rights. Treat others as you wish to treated and things will transform. Not immediately, years of aggression and hate take time to heal, without giving it chance to heal, then there is only one alternative.
 

Wim Zunnebeld (144)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 10:40 am
noted
 

Kamila A. (141)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 2:16 pm
Kit, I believe we could transform in the blink of an eye if we choose to. Judging from how things are though, yes, it will take at least 2 generations. We must do this, now. If you read this, it is on you to begin, now. Open your heart, let go of hatred because in hating others, you only spew your sewage all over yourself and that's the rot we are all swimming in today. Get over your egos and open to love one another, everyone, because that is the highest expression of who you really are. Your hatred only begets more hatred, and mostly upon yourself. It makes you ugly.
Choose peace, love, kindness or at the very least, just stay quiet and listen until you can. Take babysteps, but don't spew any more venom or lies, at the very least.
(thanks Kit. I am getting off the soapbox now.)
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 2:28 pm

It's an open forum and your soap box is much nicer to read than many.
 

Kamila A. (141)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 2:53 pm
Thank you Kit, you are beautiful. Keep up the good work of spreading truth!
 

monka blanke (85)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 3:18 pm
Thanks Kit. I know there are some (few) reasonable Jews, and I wish there were more of them, to give peace a chance. (Remember "The general's son, a journey of an Israeli...)". Thanks to people like him I have hope.
Many good comments, exept one. Radiate love, not hate !!
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

I like to think I'm a reasonable Jew, though it may not count because I follow no religious path. Jewish people the world over are reasonable people, some just don't know who to trust or are fearful of trusting. I don't know another way to peace but for both groups to reach out and give the other an honest chance. That has not been done yet, all political spewing to the contrary, we have and we do live in a world that war feeds into power and money. Take that power away, and people can and will make accommodations to live together, sometimes uncomfortably. Given time, it becomes a way of life. Read the history of the United States, each new group that came was not welcomed, each new group became a part of the culture and enriched the United States.
 

louise Woychesko (1)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 4:18 pm
Finally! A reasonable voice. thanks
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 4:56 pm
Noted ,thanks , just wish they could live in peace , both sides .
 

Alexander Werner (53)
Thursday October 11, 2012, 10:39 pm
Is it reasonable to help creation of a 23-rd state for the Arab nation, while the other 22 failed to achieve democracy or even provide to their citizen with anything, but oil?

Is it reasonable to assist Jihadists and fight a Jewish state which is the only democratic state in the Middle East?

Is it reasonable to expect Israel be bombed for 8 years and not do anything to stop it?

Say "NO" to Islamist propaganda.
 

Frans Badenhorst (556)
Friday October 12, 2012, 5:32 am
he is trying alright...
 

Kamila A. (141)
Friday October 12, 2012, 6:51 am
Islamist propaganda? where? huh?

.....you mean anti-Islamist?

Bob, get a cup of coffee and get outside. Nature heals. Then, when you come back inside I wish I could give you a hug, you seem to be in need of love.

 

Kit B. (276)
Friday October 12, 2012, 8:37 am

Make that a decaf coffee. Bob there are many ways of seeing any thing. Look to bright side, look for peace, and it might be found. Blaming, pointing fingers, name calling just does not leave room for hope or human efforts.
 

Alexander Werner (53)
Friday October 12, 2012, 11:32 am
Camila, thank you for the advice, I already have a good cup of good coffee. I like nature, and know that it heals. The hug would be good as well.

Kit, I am not resorting to "Blaming, pointing fingers, name calling" - I don't need that. Just look at what is going on in 22 Arab states and decide for yourself if it is necessary to have 23rd one. Recall, that Kurds, Druze and others do not have their own states.
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday October 12, 2012, 5:35 pm

What Kurds decide to do is still a unknown, currently: they want an autonomous Kurdish region in what is now Syria, a prospect they see as a step toward fulfilling a centuries-old dream of linking the Kurdish minorities in Iraq, Turkey and Iran into an independent nation. An autonomous region sounds like state hood to me.

People desire state hood and independence.

The Druze are very unique and though you may wish to lump them all together, their back ground and heritage is more that of the Jewish people, than the Arab people.

The Druze state was formed on May 1, 1921 in former Ottoman territory, while other statelets were installed in other parts of the Syrian mandate (e.g. the Alawite State in the Lattakia region). Jabal al-Druze was home to about 50,000 Druze. It was the first, and remains the only, autonomous entity to be populated and governed by Druze. The 1925 Syrian Revolution began in Jabal al-Druze under the leadership of Sultan al-Atrash, and quickly spread to Damascus and other non-Druze areas outside the Jabal al-Druze region. Protests against the division of Syrian territory into statelets were a main theme of Syrian anti-colonial nationalism, which eventually won the victory to reunite the entire French-mandated territory, except Lebanon (which had become independent) and Alexandretta, which was annexed to Turkey as the Hatay Province. As a result of nationalist pressure, under the Franco-Syrian Treaty of 1936, Jabal al-Druze ceased to exist as an autonomous entity and was incorporated into Syria. (from wiki)
 

Lois Jordan (56)
Saturday October 13, 2012, 6:36 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit. The complexity of this conversation extends beyond borders. So many various religious sects and history to consider, to say nothing about the poverty that permeates every country. I just wish the bullying would stop and the leaders would truly consider the people of their various regions. The extremists have vendettas they wish to carry out, as well. Those in power unleash threats that have consequences they seemed not to consider before issuing them. Prior to the Bush Doctrine, America was, for the most part, considered a "peacemaker"--we have lost that ace-in-the-hole, and I would like to see Obama issue his own Doctrine. It would truly be an American coup to silence both Netanyahu and Iran's leaders, and make them work towards a peaceful outcome.
 

Lynn Squance (232)
Sunday October 14, 2012, 2:06 am
A fascinating article that makes me want to read the book all the more. A journey starts with the first step and it is evident that Rabbi Rosen has not only begun his journey, but is well into it.

"I have personally come to the very painful realization that Jewish nation-statism comes at a very real cost to our Jewish soul - compromising sacred values that teach us that all human beings are created in the image of God, that one law must be extended to all who live on the land, that we must love our neighbors as ourselves." --- Amen!

"And in the case of the Jewish people, I'd argue that the secret of our survival over the centuries was precisely because we avoided the route of nation-statism and empire. Mighty nations have come and gone, and we're still here. Why? Because we created a unique kind of model, namely a multicultural, multi-ethnic spiritual peoplehood without borders." --- Isn't this somewhat what we see in North America? Granted the US is struggling right now, and in Canada we have struggles in Québec. But there are reasons to hope that a multicultural, multi-ethnic spiritual people can exist in peace. Or are the tribal pulls too strong?

"If the price of maintaining a Jewish state is the loss of the divine spark of humanity within the Jewish soul, it is not a price worth paying" --- I have to agree with Rosen on this. And it is not just the Jewish soul, but rather the human soul, from my point of view.
 

Lynn Squance (232)
Sunday October 14, 2012, 2:18 am
Kit --- "This is really just the idea that many have been struggling with. How the resolve the conflict, how to allow a for solution that considers human dignity and self respect for both parties."

I see it as even bigger --- a question and struggle for all peoples.

Hope, love, and peace for all peoples in quantities so large that there is no hate must inhabit the soul.
 
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